Now and Then and a Changing Hudson Valley
This year the first span opens, and the Hudson Valley will again change. I love this photo of the kids looking at the construction and see it symbolizing the future, their future, as the figure below imagined his future years before.
Craig Long, historian for the Villages of Suffern and Montebello and the Town of Ramapo, discussed previous ideas for a Hudson River crossing last summer.
I focused on his narrative about Nanuet Assemblyman Fred Horn, the “Father of the Bridge,” who rallied for one-quarter century for such a project.
Long said a bridge (railroad) was proposed from Piermont to Hastings as early 1905 with calls continuing for the next 20 or so years. It gained traction, he said, when Horn took office, proposing a bill in 1930 for a bridge from Piermont to Hastings with Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake as other locations.
During the next two years Horn proposed a bridge, then a bridge/tunnel from Snedens Landing to Dobb’s Ferry.
Here’s where the sparks begin to fly.
Good idea except the proposed site was within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s 25-mile jurisdiction, and it would need to approve, and then, operate the project. The proposals failed as did Horn when he ran for re-election.
“In 1935, the Rockland Causeway-Tunnel Authority was created with a drive to bridge the Hudson from Nyack to Tarrytown,” Long said in an email. “As studies begin, no determination is made as to whether Upper Nyack, Nyack, or South Nyack will be the bridge’s terminus. In August of that year, it is central Nyack; by October it is South Nyack, Voorhis Point.
The following March (1936) Grand View was chosen as a potential landing site; by August the War Department approved it and Tarrytown on the Westchester side. While Hook Mountain again a choice the northern location didn’t sit well with Zoning Commissioner Elmer Hader, who gained support for nixing the idea, or with residents.
Long wrote, “In October of that year, the Journal News took a straw poll on the idea of a Hudson River crossing and where it should be located” with an unscientific tally of 792 in favor and 405 opposed. Grand View was the favored location 391 votes (not residents). Results from boring led the state to abandon the project one month later. Last fall marked 80 years since that straw poll.
Photos courtesy of New York State Thruway Authority.
I’d like to know what you think.
Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2017